SOS Made Cuts in Healthcare, That’s Why Meloni Was Rejected by His Own Government While nearly 2 million Italians have abandoned treatment, funding in the healthcare system continues to be cut despite the Prime Minister’s statements: These are exactly the data announced by the Minister of Economy Giancarlo Giorgetti. Cuts to public health are on paper

Giorgia Meloni keeps repeating: His government is not cutting health services. As a matter of fact, according to the Prime Minister, “In 2024, the health fund will be the highest figure of all time: 134 billion. The only thing that cannot be said is that we made cuts.” However, the words were followed by the figures published in Def, which was “censored” by his own government. The reality is different and confirms the years-long defunding of the national health system; The effects of this on the quality of care are becoming increasingly evident: in Italy almost two million Italians are currently dropping out of treatment.

Cuts to healthcare, less money and more inconvenience for everyone: 1.9 million Italians are giving up treatment

More and more families are choosing to seek treatment outside the healthcare system. The so-called “out-of-pocket” expenses, which have gradually increased in the last decade and reached 15 percent of the total, are a critical threshold that suggests a change for the worse in healthcare. is becoming less and less public.

Nino Cartabellotta, president of the Gimbe foundation, explains: “On the one hand, attention should be paid if out-of-pocket expenses exceed the 15 percent threshold, effectively creating a mixed health system according to the parameters of the World Health Organization.” Almost 89 percent of private expenses are covered by families.”

But not everyone can afford private treatment, and more and more Italians are giving up on it. According to data reported by the Gimbe Foundation, citing Istat’s report on fair and sustainable welfare, 3.2 percent of the population, that is, almost 1.9 million Italians, stopped treatment for economic reasons in 2022, the percentage “largely” has remained stable over the last five years” according to Cartabellotta.

Real cuts to public health numbers: Def 2024 refutes Meloni

Meloni’s government also continues to allocate resources to healthcare. However, hosted by Bruno Vespa, Giorgia Meloni said that his government is not making cuts, on the contrary, “the figures say that this is not true. In 2024, the health fund is at an all-time high: 134 billion.” The President of the Council said, “This year we are at 6.88 percent of GDP, the highest figure ever, excluding the Covid year. The only thesis that cannot be supported is that we made cuts.” Meloni is not new to these statements, and the concepts have been frequently echoed by other centre-right advocates.

But in reality, it is precisely the 2024 Economic and Fiscal Document published by the government that refutes Meloni’s claims. As can be seen in the section devoted to healthcare, summarized in the table below, the government has allocated 131.1 billion euros in 2023; this is 0.4 percent less than in 2022. This figure is 3.6 billion lower than the government’s own estimates last year. Update note to Def, where spending is expected to increase by 2.8 percent. And instead it apparently decreased.

Melon government's health cuts in 2023: Def 2024 table

There are two reasons, which we read in the footnote of the document: The first is that funds for the renewal of contracts of management staff and contracts for staff affiliated with the National Health Service between 2019 and 2019 are being shifted from 2023 to 2024. 2021, given their “failure to excel.” The second reason is that the Unit’s expenses are lower for completing the vaccination campaign and taking other measures created by the Draghi government to combat the pandemic.

The change in funds explains the increase in 2024, when the Def set health expenditures at 138.7 billion, 5 percent more than in 2023. In fact, this is the highest figure ever in nominal terms. However, the “transfer” of funds aside, the story is changing in relation to GDP: the financing of the healthcare system remains almost constant in the face of increasing problems and needs and will reach 6.4 percent of GDP in 2024, despite 6.8 percent of GDP. Mentioned by Meloni.

Health care allocations projected by the Meloni government in 2024

Moreover, the government expects healthcare expenditure to decrease as a proportion of GDP for the next few years, as can be seen from the figures in the table above and estimated from Def: from 6.4 percent in 2024 to 6.3 percent in 2025 and 2026 will come out. If we didn’t take GDP into account every year in such a comparison, it would be, as Meloni said, “the highest increase ever.”

According to's chart, the Meloni government's healthcare is declining as a percentage of GDP from 2024.

Why is it better to think of spending in relation to GDP rather than the isolated numbers Meloni uses? The answer to this is given in the report submitted by the Court of Accounts to the Parliament on regional health services. In fact, besides the growth in GDP, inflation also needs to be taken into account: “In 2023, expenditure on the income of employees in the healthcare sector should have increased by 4.5 percent compared to the previous year, equal to the absolute value + 1.8 billion”, an increase in spending in nominal terms, but largely zero in real terms, “because this is equal to the inflation rate measured by the GDP deflator for the same year (which reached 4.5 percent)”.

Therefore, as can be seen from the chart below prepared by the Gimbe foundation, although the ratio of health expenditures to GDP increases nominally, it continues to decrease over the years.

Trend of health expenditures over the years: government allocations and cuts

Three times less than Germany and half of France: comparison between Italy and abroad is not valid

But if we want to compare the data without referring to GDP, as Meloni does, the figures are not very useful for Italy: the differences with other countries are huge. As reported in the Court of Auditors’ report on the subject, Italian public health expenditures in 2022 (131 billion) are more than a third of Germany’s allocation of 423 billion and just under half of France’s (271 billion). . Our per capita expenditure in proportion to purchasing power is half that of Germany: this means that an Italian receives half the funding for treatment from the state than a German.

Public health expenditure per capita: chart comparing Italy and the EU

If we then look again at the relationship of health expenditure to GDP, the value of allocations in Italy, at 6.8%, is a tenth of a point higher than in Portugal (6.7%) and 1.7 points higher than in Greece (5.1%). ), but 4.1 points lower than the Germans (10.9%), 3.5 points lower than the French (10.3%) and half a point lower than the Spanish (7.3%). Even in the most striking cases, there are hundreds of billions of differences.

Public health expenditure in relation to GDP: Italy-EU comparison

And as healthcare budgets shrink, the quality of care can’t help but follow suit. The call for Meloni’s government to adjust health spending also came from a group of 14 top Italian scientists, including Nobel Prize winner Giorgio Parisi, who asked the Prime Minister in a letter to save the national health service. “The system is in crisis,” they say. And despite Meloni’s words, the government’s “real” numbers say the situation will only get worse.

Source: Today IT